Metropolis: The Ending is a Real Downer"Metropolis" (2001) is a Brandai Visual Company animated film. It is based on a 1949 manga (comic book) of Osamu Tezuka. He is a legend among many, many graphic artists, his reputation extending well beyond the relatively small community of Japanese anime illustrators. Stanley Kubrick, for instance, asked Tezuka to help with the artwork on 2001: A Space Odyssey, though he ultimately declined. He was too busy leading the prestigious "Mushi Productions" animation studio which was a leader in bringing animation to television (some of its hits were "Frosty the Snowman," "Astro Boy," and "Kimba the White Lion" - which many see as the inspiration for "The Lion King"). Tezuka had a pronounced western orientation that inspired him to adapt Disney films and other works that were not traditionally Japanese. This film, "Metropolis," is one such adaptation of a western classic. It clearly derives from the 1927 Fritz Lang German silent film of the same name, though it layers on many additional themes that give this "Metropolis" a completely new identity.
|Tima revealed for what she is|
|Tima with a dove|
|The visuals really hearken back to the 1927 original|
Everybody seems to like the film, though it did not make much money by Hollywood standards. That may have been partly caused by the unfortunate coincidence of its release soon after the September 11 2001 attack, to which some scenes bear an uncanny resemblance. The story is fairly predictable, but the animation is of the highest caliber. There is a mix of 2D and 3D, with the 3D used sparingly. The colors change from pastels in the peaceful opening scenes to dark and vivid colors as things get desperate.
|What a motley crew!|
|Vibrant, dark, edgy colors|
|Looks a bit like NYC already does, actually|
|The trippy DVD cover really captures the spirit of "Metropolis"|
Below is one of my (and probably everyone's) favorite scenes from "Metropolis." It is a very poignant sequence, to the strains of Ray Charles' "I Can't Stop Loving You" (not on the soundtrack).